Solid State Electronics Lab Seminar

Terahertz Electronics

Dr. Michael Shur

Patricia W. and C. Sheldon Roberts Professor,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Friday, December 10, 2010
10:00am - 11:00am
1690 Beyster Bldg.


About the Event

Terahertz electronics holds will enable and expand numerous applications of terahertz technol-ogy that now mostly relies on expensive THz photonics setups. These applications include detec-tion of explosives and biological and chemical hazardous agents, scanning for building and air-port security, and applications in radio astronomy, space research, biology and medicine. Con-ventional THz electronics is based on two-terminal devices, such as Gunn and Schottky diodes. Emerging THz transistor technology uses hort channel Si CMOS and FIN FETs, InGaAs-based Heterostructure Bipolar Transistors (HBTs) and High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMTs) that have already reached cutoff frequencies in the THz range. GaN-based FETs has additional advantages at THz frequencies of operation compared to Si or III-V transistors but they might require a different (5 terminal) design. For all materials systems, the device feature sizes have shrunk to the point, where ballistic mode of electron transport becomes important or even domi-nant. At THz and sub-THz frequencies, the ballistic transport also affects devices with relatively large (submicron) feature sizes. THz radiation excites the oscillations of the electron density in transistor channels. These oscillations (called plasma waves) propagate with velocities much larger that electron drift velocities and have frequencies in the THz range even for devices with feature sizes exceeding a few hundred nanometers The rectification of plasma waves by the de-vice nonlinearities can be used for detecting THz radiation and for imaging and in-situ testing of transistor structures. In very short devices, plasma waves become unstable and cause THz emis-sion. Plasma wave electronics detectors and sources are tunable by applied bias voltage and can be modulated at very high frequencies, approaching or even exceeding transistor cutoff frequen-cies. Using synchronized THz plasmonic transistor arrays is expected to yield dramatic perform-ance improvements of THz electronic detectors and sources and rejuvenate THz electronics.


Michael Shur received MSEE Degree (with honors) from St. Petersburg Electrotechnical Institute, and PhD and Dr. Sc. Degrees from A. F. Ioffe Institute. He is Roberts Professor, co-Director of the NSF I/UCRC, and Acting Director of Center for Integrated Electronics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Shur is Fellow of IEEE, APS (life), ECS, WIF, MRS, AAAS, and member of Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, ASEE, elected member and former Chair of US Commission D of URSI, life member of IEEE MTT, SPIE, Sigma Xi, and Humboldt Society. Dr. Shur is Editor-in-Chief of IJHSES and book series on Electronics and Systems, Regional Editor of physica status solidi, Member of the Honorary Board of Solid State Electronics and JSTS International Advisory Committee, VP for Technical Operations of IEEE Sensor Council, and Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE EDS. He is co-founder and VP of Sensor Electronics Technology, Inc. His awards include Saint Petersburg Technical University Honorary Doctorate, IEEE Donald Fink Best Paper Award, IEEE Kirchmayer Award, the Gold Medal of the Russian Education Ministry, Best Paper awards, van der Ziel Award, Senior Humboldt Research Award, Pioneer Award from Compound Semi, RPI Engineering Research Award, and Commendation for Excellence in Technical Communications. Dr. Shur is listed by the Institute of Scientific Information as Highly Cited Researcher. He is Foreign Member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences.

Additional Information

Sponsor: ECE

Open to: Public